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Mike Francesa Launching New Podcast In Partnership With BetRivers Sportsbook

” The first episode from Francesa is scheduled to be released either next Monday, March 28th or Tuesday, March 29th.”

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Mike Francesa is ready to broadcast once again. But this time, he’ll be sharing his hard hitting opinions on a different platform, and in a brand new role.

Barrett Sports Media has learned that the former WFAN afternoon drive time host has agreed to a multi-year deal with Rush Street Interactive to become a brand ambassador for BetRivers Sportsbook. As part of the new relationship with BetRivers, Francesa will host a new weekly podcast titled The Mike Francesa Podcast.

An official announcement is expected to be made Tuesday morning around 9am ET. The first episode from Francesa is scheduled to be released either next Monday, March 28th or Tuesday, March 29th. Episodes will run up to one hour each in an audio-only format – for now – as video could come into play in the future. Francesa is expected to release two episodes per week as part of the deal.

To help make Francesa’s transition into podcasting a smooth one, he’ll turn to longtime producer Brian Monzo. The two men spent years working together in afternoon drive at WFAN. Also providing a blast from the past to Francesa’s new show will be former New York Mets manager and fellow BetRivers Sportsbook ambassador Bobby Valentine. Bobby V, who provided appointment radio on Francesa’s show on The Fan, will join the show weekly throughout the 2022 Major League Baseball season.

In addition to hosting his new podcast, Francesa will voice commercials for BetRivers. He’ll also make a few appearances at major sporting events where he’s likely to contribute a few short videos.

Francesa began his career with CBS Sports before joining WFAN, where he rose to fame alongside Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo. The duo formed Mike and the Mad Dog, the industry’s most successful sports radio program for 19 years, consistently producing high ratings and revenue for New York’s sports radio leader. After Russo left to launch his own channel on SiriusXM, Francesa went solo, launching Mike’s On. He continued to produce big ratings on radio for WFAN until stepping away from the radio station at the end of 2017. Then just a few months later, Francesa returned to afternoons, remaining there until signing off in July 2020.

Since leaving FAN, Francesa has shared his sports opinions on Twitter, and appeared on a few shows as a guest. In fact, Francesa and Russo reunited at the 2022 Barrett Sports Media Summit in New York City to accept BSM’s introduction of the Mike and the Mad Dog Award, which was presented to 98.5 The Sports Hub’s afternoon drive show Felger & Mazz featuring Mike Felger and Tony Massarotti. The popular New York sports talk show host has said publicly he wasn’t interested in full time radio work since retiring from daily duty. However, he did leave the door open for a return to broadcasting in some capacity during a conversation with Newsday in December.

It appears Francesa has found the right broadcasting fit, and BetRivers Sportsbook has secured a high profile ambassador and host to help them penetrate the New York market. Given Francesa’s passion for New York sports, picking games, and the audience and media’s appetite for his opinions and content, expect the new weekly podcast to generate attention.

BSM’s Jason Barrett contributed to this article and report

Sports Radio News

Parker Hillis Named Brand Manager of Sports Radio 610

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Goodbye snow and hello heat! Parker Hillis is headed to Houston. Audacy has announced that he will be the new brand manager for Sports Radio 610.

“Parker is a rising star,” Sarah Frazier, Senior Vice President and Market Manager of Audacy in Houston, said in a press release. “He has impressed us since day one with his innovative ideas, focus on talent coaching and work ethic. We’re thrilled to have him join our Audacy team.”

Hillis comes to the market from Denver. He has spent the last three years with Bonneville’s 104.3 The Fan. He started as the station’s executive producer before rising to APD earlier this year.

In announcing his exit from The Fan on his Facebook page, Hillis thanked Fan PD Raj Sharan for preparing him for this opportunity.

“His leadership and guidance set the stage for me to continue to grow and develop in this industry, one that I absolutely love,” Hillis wrote. “This is a special place, one that I am honored to have been a part of and so sad to leave.”

Sports Radio 610 began the process to find a new brand manager in February when Armen Williams announced he was leaving the role. Williams also came to Houston from Denver. He started his own business outside the radio industry.

“I’m excited to join the Sports Radio 610 team in Houston,” said Hillis. “The opportunity to direct and grow an already incredible Audacy brand is truly an honor.”

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Sports Radio News

Iowa Adds WCKG As Chicago Radio Affiliate

“The Hawkeyes open their season at home on September 3 against FCS power South Dakota State.”

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Iowa City, home of the University of Iowa, sits just over three and a half hours from Chicago. It makes sense to assume plenty of alumni move to the Windy City after school and that other Iowa fans live in the metro area as well. That is why the Hawkeyes have struck a deal with WCKG to become their radio affiliate in Chicago.

The station, which is heard on 1530 AM, will air the entire season of Iowa football.

“Iowa Football’s storied history, continued success, and loyal fan base and alumni network throughout Chicagoland made this move a no-brainer for WCKG,” WCKG Sports Director Jon Zaghloul said in a press release. “I’m excited to bring the Hawkeyes to Chicago, and can’t wait to start airing games this Fall. It’s a huge acquisition for our brand, and, more importantly, our devoted listeners.” 

The Hawkeyes open their season at home on September 3 against FCS power South Dakota State. Gary Dolphin has called all of the school’s sports on radio since 1996. Ed Podolak is his partner in the booth during football season.

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Dave Rothenberg Can’t Stand Hearing Kenny Albert Mispronounce ‘Raleigh’

“I would think a true professional, like somebody that cares about their craft, would get that kind of feedback and welcome it.”

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Dave Rothenberg has a tiny bone to pick with Kenny Albert, and it’s over the way Kenny pronounces the Carolina Hurricanes’ home city.

Talking on his show on ESPN New York on Tuesday, Rothenberg, who spent three years working in Raleigh on 99.9 The Fan, said he wished someone would get in Albert’s ear and correct the way he’s been saying it adding that it has made him wish one of the top play-by-play voices in hockey wouldn’t be on the call for the playoff series between the Canes and New York Rangers.

“I would think a true professional, like somebody that cares about their craft, would get that kind of feedback and welcome it,” Rothenberg said.

Albert has been pronouncing the city’s name as “RAW-lee”. It is properly pronounced “RAH-lee”.

Co-host Rick DiPietro and the rest of the show crew thought Albert would take offense to the correction, especially since it’s such a minor thing, but Rothenberg thought that was ridiculous.

“See, no one can deal with tough love anymore,” Rothenberg said.

The New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes series shifts back to Raleigh on Thursday for Game 5. The series is tied 2-2.

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